Travel Tips for Switzerland Trip On a Budget

Travel Tips for Switzerland Trip On a Budget

As you know, the country of Switzerland can easily take one’s breath away, astonishing with one-of-a-kind natural wonders, rich cultural background, and not very budget-friendly prices. And if an experienced tour operator can help you secure the best deals for hotels and sightseeing tours, a few things like dining or planning your free time is still up to you. But as our mission is to help you plan the vacation of your dreams, we’ve prepared a few suggestions on how you can ensure an unforgettable experience without overspending.

Switzerland Budget Travel: Tips and Tricks

Purchase a Swiss Coupon Pass

Swiss Coupon Pass


On average, a full-course dinner in a local restaurant will cost you about 75 EUR per person, and a price of a meal in a top-class restaurant can easily cross the mark of 100 EUR. If you are not traveling alone and plan to stay at least for a few days, you can do the math and estimate the expenses. And one of the ways to reduce the amount is to buy a Swiss Coupon Pass. It’s a small voucher book offering a hundred exclusive 2-for-1 deals, covering some of the top local restaurants in 11 popular travel destinations around Switzerland. And the best part is that you can tailor it to meet your travel needs by eliminating the destinations you don’t need this time around! However, there are a few downsides. The book itself is pretty pricey, and several restrictions apply (e.g., you can’t use more than one coupon per travel group, it takes at least two people present for vouchers to be valid, etc.)

Ready-Made Meals Are a Valid Option

Bar Venues in Switzerland


If you don’t feel like eating out all the time and are OK with the idea of purchasing some ready-made food in a local supermarket – you can save quite a decent amount of money. And we are not talking about the frozen semimanufactures that taste like paper, but delicious homemade-like food, carefully prepared on-site at big food shops every morning. 

Switzerland has stringent rules concerning perishable food, so after 17.00, all cooked meals go with significant discounts. What is more, the same applies to baked goods and world-famous local cheese. Interestingly, carbonated drinks also fall under the same regulations. So if a price of a Coca-Cola bottle is 1.5 EUR in the morning, there is a possibility that you will be able to get the very same bottle with a 40% discount after 18.00. 

If you like the idea but it’s not your thing, there is an alternative—the major Swiss cities such as Lucerne, Bern, and Zurich house several Äss-Bar venues. The franchise is based on a zero-waste initiative and promotes the idea of smart consumption. Äss-Bar cafes have partnered with local bakeries that pass over all pastry that wasn’t sold after the first 24 hours. And let’s be frank. Bread, cookies, or macarons aren’t going to lose much flavor in one day. But the same can’t be said about the prices, as Äss-Bar bars are very budget-friendly and offer a wide choice of hot beverages to go with your dessert.

Take Advantage of the Happy Hour

Happy Hour in Switzerland


You might not know this, but Switzerland boasts a fascinating history of winemaking and produces exquisite wines. The reason why it’s not very widely known around the world is that almost nothing goes on export. 98% of all production is drunk within the country’s borders, so exploring the impressive variety of locally produced wines is interesting to add to your travel agenda. Luckily, Switzerland upholds the sacred tradition of Happy Hour. It usually starts a bit early compared to most European cities, around 16.00 – 16.30, and offers a tempting opportunity to purchase two drinks for the price of one. 

However, the drink of the Gods is not the only thing worth trying during your trip. There are several classic Swiss drinks that you will have trouble finding anywhere but this glorious country. One of them is Zuger Kirsch liquor. It takes 350 varieties of cherries to produce a single bottle, ensuring a unique fruity aroma and rich flavor. Another good option for an after-dinner drink is a shot of Goldschlager, a delightfully sweet and surprisingly fiery liqueur. Its name means Golden Leafs, and it’s not a metaphor. Every one-liter bottle contains about 13 mg of gold! The flakes of the precious metal are thin but visible. Unfortunately, they don’t add much to the taste but surely make an impression. 

Research Free Events at Your Destination

Zurich, Switzerland


Of course, there are plenty of great things to do that won’t cost you a penny, such as enjoying a stroll through the cobbled streets of Zurich, relaxing on the shores of Lake Geneva, or hiking the Swiss National Park. However, a wide choice of unique options specific to Switzerland is also available. For example, did you know that Cern, one of the world’s biggest and most important centers of scientific research and home to the one-and-only Large Hadron Collider, is free to visit? Or, if the city of Zurich is on your travel itinerary, make sure to stop by the city’s university. It houses exciting Paleontological, Zoological, and Archeological museums boasting excellent exhibitions that will be interesting for adults and children alike.

Plus, always research the museums and galleries you want to check out beforehand, as you might find some loopholes. For example, the Vaud Museum of Fine Arts, officially known as MCBA, prides itself on one of the most impressive collections of fine artworks in the country, and the museum’s entrance fee is about 20 EUR. But visitors are welcome to admire the masterpieces on display free of charge every first Saturday of the month.

Just as the devil is not as black as he is painted, Switzerland is not as unaffordable as some people believe. The key is to do substantial research beyond the list of famous must-sees. Many people share their experiences on thematic forums, and seasoned travelers sometimes offer helpful tips on their blogs. There are great sources that can provide you with all you need to know, and all you need to do is find the information you can trust. But be strong and patient because you are in for a long ride, as organizing even a four-day tour to Switzerland takes hours of research. So, the smartest way to go is to leave orchestrating your vacation to a trusted travel specialist who has learned all the tricks over years of practical experience and is happy to share them with you. 

by Ksenia Zaiceva